Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Amsterdam I 09-22-08

We met up with my aunt, her husband and their two friends on Monday to tour Amsterdam. We had a pretty good time, starting off with the Anne Frank Museum and finishing up with one of the better meals we've had in the Netherlands.

The Anne Frank Museum is kind of neat, but pretty small. It's all inside the house and warehouse where they were hiding in Amsterdam. The first two pictures are actually ones I took while waiting in line. They're actually the only ones taken by either Andy or I in this bunch. My aunt's camera broke midway through the day, so we loaned her ours for the rest of the day. Hopefully hers will magically fix itself like ours did in London.

After that, we had breakfast at a little pannenkoekenhuis (pancake house) and had crepes. These were done slightly differently from the ones we've had in the south, with the filling sitting on top like a pizza rather than magically inside the batter. Some day I'll figure out how they do that... The crepes were pretty good, though Andy's omelet was apparently tasteless. I knew he shouldn't, but I didn't say anything. Some wife I am. ;)

Our next stop was the Van Gogh Museum where I discovered I don't really like Van Gogh all that much. I don't think I was alone in that discovery. Andy and I are beginning to pick up on a dark, self-centered, egotistical streak in Dutch artists. Of course, this is based on two, but that's beside the point. If you make your test group too large, it's harder to make generalizations. =D

Following that we stopped for a bit in a little park somewhere in Amsterdam, then found our way to the canal tour, where we listed to a Dutchman tell us about the horrible Dutch language, the canals, the history and the bad food. He was pretty funny, though I'm not sure how much of what he had to say was true. =) As a Texan, I recognize the value of exaggeration for telling a good story, but that doesn't mean I've got to buy it every time I hear it. ;)

Before dinner, we decided to go check out St. Nicholas' church which stands near/on the border for the red light district and was not far from the boat. I'm not sure how long that area has been a red light district, but, as the tour guide pointed out, it's appropriate since St. Nicholas is the patron of prostitutes. I'll spare you my tirade on prostitution and just say that the church looked nice on the outside, but we didn't get to see the inside.

The next step was dinner, and after a good bit of roaming and a bit of grumbling, we found a suitable location. As are all meals that don't involve fried snacks in the Netherlands, it was overpriced for its quality, but it was pretty good anyways.

A lot of the buildings in Amsterdam (and throughout the Netherlands) will lean one way or another, like the building in the first photo. According to the canal guide, when the foundation was laid, they dug a big hole and put the houses on wooden pillers, some of which are now rotting, causing the structures to lean. I'm not sure if it's occurred to anyone to fix the problem...

The other photos in this group are a memorial to something, police officers waggling their fingers at somebody while on horses and a building. All taken while we tried to figure out something to eat.


sarahkate81 said...

Cute pic of you and Andy. :-)

Cheryl said...

Yeah, I didn't know the picture was about to be taken... Though that doesn't always keep me from making faces. =D